Barcelona may be widely known as a great urban holiday destination with a beach, but there’s one thing that people often overlook; the beautiful landscape that surrounds the city. The mountain of Montserrat is one of the most iconic natural monuments in Spain that you shouldn’t miss visiting. You can pass an unforgettable day with your family and friends without leaving Barcelona behind for good as it’s easily accessible through public transport and car. If you’re arriving via public transport, then you will need to catch a train from Plaza Espanya, to begin your trip to Montserrat. It is therefore more convenient if you stay in an affordable accommodation in Sants, the area of Barcelona where the station is located.
What is Montserrat?
Montserrat is the name of the mountain, which literally translates to “Serrated Mountain”, due to the unique shape the rocks form, resembling a the serrated teeth of a saw, it’s also the name given to the statue of the Virgin that resides in the monastery there. The Virgin of Montserrat, also called the “Moreneta” (Black Madonna) due to its dark color. The sculpture was found in a cave on the mountains and it is said to represent the Virgin Mary, for this reason it has darkened significantly. The statue though, was way to heavy to move elsewhere, so in the end the locals decided it would be much easier to build a chapel around it instead.
Things to Do on Montserrat
Montserrat is one of those perfect places to contemplate, meditate, and relax, but it’s also a great place if you’re into adventurous hikes and climbing, as much of the area is uncharted lands. Fans of nature and photography will be blessed with amazing landscapes in this unique setting.
Of course, you should also check out the monastery, including the entrance to the sanctuary, the museum, and the Black Madonna. The choir boys also practice their singing following a regular schedule, a treat for anyone who happens to be passing by at the time. There is a special song that they sing, which is dedicated to Montserrat and is called “Virolai” or locally known as “The Rose of April”, sung on the 27th April, the day of Montserrat.
Getting to Montserrat
As aforementioned, the easiest way to reach this sanctuary from modern life is from Plaza Espanya. Though the train from here will only take you to the foot of the mountain in the nearby village of Monistrol-Vila. Once you arrive at this station, you can change to catch the Rack Train, which will take you up the mountain and is the easiest option, however, you can also catch a cable car up the mountain if you’re into the much more scenic option.
Harriet Freeman is a freelance writer, having lived in Barcelona for more than 5 years. She writes on behalf of OK Apartment Barcelona, who specialize in providing quality accommodation in Barcelona for affordable prices.